Guernsey Raiders vs Henley Hawks - 16th October 3.45pm KO
By Nick Pitson
Henley Hawks make the long journey to the Channel Islands tomorrow to take on Guernsey Raiders in their latest National 2 (South) fixture. This is only the second time the Hawks have played the Islanders on their own patch and with two good sides, both in form, it should be an exciting contest.
The Hawks will expect a stern test in Guernsey as the Raiders have made a good start to the season but they will be encouraged by the last three games, all bonus point victories and should go into the game with confidence. It was a workmanlike performance against Esher, not yet as fluent or effective as they would like, but they are building nicely game by game. The forwards are functioning well, particularly in the set piece and half backs Will Crowe and Monty Bradbury are looking more assured with every game. Wing Reuben Norville added to his try tally against Esher and in full back James Love, the Hawks have a reliable goal kicker. After the Esher game, the Hawks now lie in 9th place in the table but with two games in hand over most of the sides above them.
This game against Guernsey will be an intriguing one. The Raiders have started this season strongly and have played all but one of their games away from home so far. They are coping well with the standard of the league this time and have won their last five matches, beating Rochford Hundred, Dings Crusaders, Barnstaple, Leicester Lions and last week they won at Barnes 26-19. Their only defeat came in the first game of the season at Worthing and they currently lie in 3rd place in the table.
Guernsey did spend one previous season in National League 2(South), the 2018-19 campaign where they finished 15th and were relegated. The Hawks did the double over the Islanders that season winning 17-10 in Guernsey (in appalling conditions) and then 60-28 at Dry Leas.
Elsewhere in the league, Worthing stay top after a hard fought 35-33 victory at Dings Crusaders. Redruth kept their 100% record with a thumping 49-12 victory over Clifton. The Cornish side are now second. Hinckley picked up their first win of the season with a 66-5 win over Westcliff who now prop up the table. Newly promoted Rochford Hundred won away at Old Albanian and there were also wins for Canterbury and Leicester Lions.
The Henley Bulls also travel to Guernsey to take on St Jacques, the Guernsey 2nd XV. Kick off is after the Hawks match at 5.30pm.
The Henley Vikings, who are top of their league, have no game this week.
The Henley Hawks Women play on Sunday. They have a home game against Buckingham Swans, kick off is 2pm.
Henley Hawks side to take on Guernsey tomorrow;
15. James Love, 14. Jack Robinson, 13. Will Panday, 12. George Amphlett, 11. Iwan MacRae, 10. Cail Cookland, 1. Brad Cook, 2. Tom Emery, 3. Rory Mason, 4. Marcus Lowe, 21. Sam Lunnon (c), 6. Tom Hall, 7. Will Bordill, 8. Alex Bradley
Replacements: 16. George Probyn, 17. Henry Penrose, 18. Scott White, 19. George Jupp, 20. Toby Gilbey